FIFA has made the not-at-all surprising announcement that the fight for the Ballon d'Or will be a three-way scrap between Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo, Barcelona's Lionel Messi and Bayern Munich's Franck Ribéry. The three nominees were revealed on Monday, after the initial nomination deadline was extended to the 29th November due to a lack of votes. Among those to have been ruled out are Gareth Bale, Luis Suárez and Mesut Özil.
From this list of three the winner will be drawn, with votes to be cast by journalists, coaches and players. Ronaldo was the strong favourite a couple of weeks ago, though odds on Messi breaking his own record and winning a fifth consecutive Ballon d'Or crown have been slashed, despite his recent struggles with poor form and niggling injuries. Ribéry is currently third favourite.
The winner will be announced at the FIFA Ballon d’Or gala on the 13th January 2014.